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North County Fire Protection District special meeting on revenue measure likely this month


Last updated 9/15/2017 at Noon

The North County Fire Protection District board will likely have a special meeting later this month regarding a potential revenue measure.

NCFPD staff issued request for proposals for a revenue measure feasibility analysis and public opinion survey in May, and during the June 27 regular meeting, the board voted 3-1, with Ken Munson opposed and Ruth Harris absent, to authorize a contract with David Taussig and Associates. The Aug. 22 board meeting created an ad hoc committee of board members and NCFPD staff to define specific objectives to be achieved by a revenue measure.

“The revenue measure could be a Community Facilities District; it could be a general obligation bond’ it could be a benefit assessment,” NCFPD Fire Chief Steve Abbott said.

All three of those measures would increase property taxes for NCFPD landowners. A general obligation bond would involve a vote of all registered voters within the district, and a two-thirds majority would be needed for passage. A Community Facilities District or a benefit assessment would involve a landowner vote and would require a simple majority for passage.

“The district has only explored something like this once before, and that was back in the mid-80s,” Abbott said.

When the Fallbrook Fire Protection District became the North County Fire Protection District in 1986, the district provided fire protection service only. Paramedic service was added in 1990, which increased personnel by 25 percent, but no new revenue source was provided.

“Our services have become strained with the hospital closure and with the insurance reimbursements not what they used to be,” Abbott said.

Before the closure of Fallbrook Hospital in December 2014, most patients transported by NCFPD ambulances were taken to that hospital. The closure of Fallbrook Hospital has required transport to hospitals further away, which has increased mileage for NCFPD ambulances and also increased the travel time for NCFPD staff.

The insurance reimbursement rate has declined in recent years from approximately 70 percent to approximately 50 percent, and changing demographics in the community have increased the ratio of calls during a year from 70 to 100 per 1,000 population.


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